Index brifters or friction thumbies?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Index brifters or friction thumbies?

    My exposure to indexed shifting on the bar and the ease of shifting without DT levers and desire to ride more of these long hilly rides has me thinking. I can't separate the proximiy issue of shifting with hands on the bars from the up/down snick of indexing. This sort of thinking can be dangerous to the wallet. But the project has a green light form my best friend.

    My roadie friends are addicted to the lightest and newest and raciest. So I come to a more pragmatic and like-minded group: you who may nave actual road time with such setups. I know I like to get the shifting into the cockpit. The choices are:

    Silver SOS Thumbshifters -SH5

    Not available until July. Friction. Can use old 7 speed wheelset. Ease of use? Not the trigger system of indexed shifters but intuitive analog.

    I don't consider bar ends as being in the cockpit enough to use them.

    Campy indexed bar ends on Paul thumbies would also work, but at about $300.

    Or the least expensive triple Campy-compatible 10 speed brifters available now, and the only one in silver alloy not black or carbon fiber:

    Campagnolo 2012 Veloce Power Shift ALLOY Ergopower shifters Silver New in Box | eBay

    The difference in cost is not an issue. Brifter means spare wheel set needs to be 10 speed Campy compatible but that will bring modern sealed bearings.

    I can't test ride the two options. Any experience you can share?

    Also anyone have experience with lever versus barrel DT mount shift cable adjusters? Do the lever ones work better? Both are pictured here:

    Shimano STI Downtube Barrel Adjuster Kit | BicycleBuys.com

    Campy ones are similar to the barrel version but are almost the price of the lever ones.

    For those unfamiliar with the bike, this is for The Duchess:



    I know it isn't the usual lock it up outside commuter ride. I have one of those, too when I can't take it inside.

    BrianMc

  2. #2
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    I'll make this simpler.

    Do you have brifters on one or mnre bikes and do you like them a lot or even best on that bike?

    Does anyone have the lever cable barrel stops and do they work better. such as easier trimming a slightly out shift while riding?


    BrianMc

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc View Post
    I'll make this simpler.
    Good, I didn't really understand your first post.

    I have integrated shifters on three bikes right now. For a racing bike, I really like them. I think the difference in ease of use from different riding positions and at high efforts is enough to make a real difference for someone trying to maintain position in a pack or a paceline. Basically, they're shifters I can use in a standing sprint or standing climb. I know some people can do it, but I have to be seated to use a downtube shifter and hold my line. Integrated shifters are very easy to use and very consistent, when correctly tuned. Two of my bikes with integrated shifters have barrel adjusters mounted on the downtube shifter braze-ons. One of them had inline barrel adjusters but I've switched it to barrel adjusters right at the bar. My favorite position for the barrel adjusters is on the downtube, and they're easy to use while riding. I think the barrel adjusters at the bar are a bit easier to use than the ones mid-cable, but I haven't had them very long. I do use them mid-ride, both the downtube and lever-mounted ones, and it's pretty easy.

    Integrated shifters came along in tandem with a couple other innovations - somewhat more sophisticated front derailleurs, and shift gates, ramps and pickup pins on chain rings and cassettes. While shifting without those still works okay, it's slower. Something to bear in mind if you mix-and-match chain rings a lot and some of yours have flat faces.

    I'm de-evolving a 10-speed SRAM DoubleTap bike to a 9-speed Shimano with downtube shifters setup. The right shifter on that bike broke yesterday morning, and I find indexed downtube shifters to be pretty easy to use, better than bar-end or stem-mount shift levers. However, that's a lock-outside/save-me-money bike, and the handlebars are a lot lower than on yours - for me, downtube shifters have always been relatively close to my hands anyway, so not a big deal to get to them. I've never tried bar-mount shifters on a road bike. I imagine they wouldn't bother me as much as stem-mount, but I wouldn't like them as much as integrated. I don't have a great sense as to how I'd like them relative to downtube.

    I don't shuffle wheels on my bikes much at all. So I'm not overly concerned with maintaining compatibility with anything that's not on that bike full-time. And I own a chain whip and a lock ring tool if it comes up. Since you've got other bikes anyway, IMO just make a choice about how you want the shifting on that bike, commit to it, and if you do something to the rear wheel, either shuffle your cassettes appropriately or ride something else until you resolve it.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  4. #4
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    I put friction bar ends on my road bike (drop bar) and have friction thumb shifters on my touring bike (flat bar). Both work well. I find that reaching the bar ends on the drop bars is very easy even when on the brake hoods or flats, as the shifter ends up right at your finger tips if you swing your arm downward.

    On my soon-to-be cross bike, I am going to be using brake lever mounted index/friction shifters:
    - retroshift | Mud Proof Shifting. Designed by Goats!

    I currently have the shifters mounted up on the brake levers and handlebars and they seem like they will work well.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    Good, I didn't really understand your first post.

    I have integrated shifters on three bikes right now. For a racing bike, I really like them. I think the difference in ease of use from different riding positions and at high efforts is enough to make a real difference for someone trying to maintain position in a pack or a paceline.
    *** While I am not doing racing, I loved shifting and keeping my cadence with slight changes in grade or wind without reaching for the DT which from a semi crouched position is a long way away, so I'd avoid shifting, I would use the narrow 13-14-15-16-17-part of the 10 speed better.

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    Basically, they're shifters I can use in a standing sprint or standing climb. I know some people can do it, but I have to be seated to use a downtube shifter and hold my line.
    *** I can't ride far no hands as the heavy metals have done a number on my balance. So I have to sit and shift and come out of the saddle again with the DT shifters. Losing momentum on a hill you are going to grind out is frustrating,

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    Integrated shifters are very easy to use and very consistent, when correctly tuned. Two of my bikes with integrated shifters have barrel adjusters mounted on the downtube shifter braze-ons. One of them had inline barrel adjusters but I've switched it to barrel adjusters right at the bar. My favorite position for the barrel adjusters is on the downtube, and they're easy to use while riding. I think the barrel adjusters at the bar are a bit easier to use than the ones mid-cable, but I haven't had them very long. I do use them mid-ride, both the downtube and lever-mounted ones, and it's pretty easy.
    *** Good stuff, thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    Integrated shifters came along in tandem with a couple other innovations - somewhat more sophisticated front derailleurs, and shift gates, ramps and pickup pins on chain rings and cassettes. While shifting without those still works okay, it's slower. Something to bear in mind if you mix-and-match chain rings a lot and some of yours have flat faces.
    *** The whole drivetrain is modern (2009 and more recent) except the shifters. It has a 2010 Centaur 10 speed cluster with ramps, and I have a Sugino Triple (48-36-26) on it with pins plus a Centaur Triple 10 speed RD & FD. If I get strong enough, I have the 10 speed Campy Competttion Triple (53-42-30) that used to be on it. So the only missing element is adding index shifting in the process of moving shifting.

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    I'm de-evolving a 10-speed SRAM DoubleTap bike to a 9-speed Shimano with downtube shifters setup. The right shifter on that bike broke yesterday morning, and I find indexed downtube shifters to be pretty easy to use, better than bar-end or stem-mount shift levers. However, that's a lock-outside/save-me-money bike, and the handlebars are a lot lower than on yours - for me, downtube shifters have always been relatively close to my hands anyway, so not a big deal to get to them. I've never tried bar-mount shifters on a road bike. I imagine they wouldn't bother me as much as stem-mount, but I wouldn't like them as much as integrated. I don't have a great sense as to how I'd like them relative to downtube.
    *** That's what I needed to know.

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch;9327897I
    don't shuffle wheels on my bikes much at all. So I'm not overly concerned with maintaining compatibility with anything that's not on that bike full-time. And I own a chain whip and a lock ring tool if it comes up. Since you've got other bikes anyway, IMO just make a choice about how you want the shifting on that bike, commit to it, and if you do something to the rear wheel, either shuffle your cassettes appropriately or ride something else until you resolve it.
    *** I have been meaning to add a chain whip and will if I get a winter wheel set which will double as a backup set on the long rides.

    BrianMc

  6. #6
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    Sounds like there's a much bigger difference in ease of use for you than for me with downtube shifters vs. putting them on the bars.

    Glad my experience with different positions for shifters was of some use for you. I'll be curious to see what the next iteration of this bike is.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  7. #7
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    I have Campy brifters on the x-bike and a Bianchi road bike I haven't ridden in years. Both work well (Veloce & ???) and I like that you can "trim" the FD to eliminate any rubbing. The fatbikers seem to love the Paul thumbies, so I'd guess they are bombproof in all conditions, if less "nifty shifty".

  8. #8
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    a good set of brifters will spoil ya.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4Crawler View Post
    I put friction bar ends on my road bike (drop bar) and have friction thumb shifters on my touring bike (flat bar). Both work well. I find that reaching the bar ends on the drop bars is very easy even when on the brake hoods or flats, as the shifter ends up right at your finger tips if you swing your arm downward.
    *** I have a Nitto Randonneur bar, so it is down and out a bit, and I find the drops tolerable but not comfortable. I know a lot of people like them.

    Quote Originally Posted by 4Crawler View Post
    On my soon-to-be cross bike, I am going to be using brake lever mounted index/friction shifters:
    - retroshift | Mud Proof Shifting. Designed by Goats!
    *** Neat setup. I'd have to change out the cassette for a Campy hub/STI cog spacing. It does show how index bar ends might work on a Paul adapter,

    Quote Originally Posted by 4Crawler View Post
    I currently have the shifters mounted up on the brake levers and handlebars and they seem like they will work well.
    *** Thanks for your input.

    BrianMc

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbxplorer View Post
    I have Campy brifters on the x-bike and a Bianchi road bike I haven't ridden in years. Both work well (Veloce & ???) and I like that you can "trim" the FD to eliminate any rubbing. The fatbikers seem to love the Paul thumbies, so I'd guess they are bombproof in all conditions, if less "nifty shifty".
    The older Campy fronts are friction, I am not sure about current ones. Indexingt the front is not critical IMHO, though it is nice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Slozomby View Post
    a good set of brifters will spoil ya.
    Thanks. Brifters it is.

    BrianMc

  11. #11
    jrm
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    So far my favs are

    the sunrace friction thumbies and ultergra barcons on IRD perches. The barcons were great b/c i cold run darn near any set up where as the sun races had some issues running 9 spd. The IRD perches are hinged so you dsont have to remove any thing> They also come with shims to fit different diameter bars and theyre cheaper then pauls.

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